Arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 7.25 am local time and I gathered the group together and picked up my local guide and off we go. We headed straight to Malacca, a small town that was once Chinese, then Dutch, then Portuguese, then British and now Malay, so has influences from all of these cultures. The group seem ok. Though I have 2 ladies who are staff and work in sales, an 85-year-old lady, travelling alone, a man on his own who smells and the Mr Bean Brothers. I also have a local guide who will be with us for the whole tour, so I will have to take a back seat sometimes. On most tours I either have no local guide at all or pick up a local guide in each city, so I am the one in control of the tour. I try to avoid taking tours where I have a guide from start to finish as I get bored and don’t get the chance to talk much to the group as the guide does most of the talking. And one thing I like to do is talk – I love telling stories and giving coach commentary. In these cases, I have to remind myself that the tour is not about me but about the clients enjoying the tour, so I have to make sure I work as a team with Paul, my guide, and that the clients get the most out of the trip.
By 11 am I have checked the group into the hotel and we have free time until 5pm. I advise everyone to try and stay awake until after dinner and then in theory after a good night’s sleep we will all be adjusted to local time. I really struggled to keep my eyes open this afternoon and needed a nap before going out with the group for a boat ride in the Dutch quarter.
I went for dinner with Paul – Chinese and a beer – and was on my way back to the hotel looking forward to crawling into bed when the hotel phoned me. The 85-year-old lady on my tour had fallen over and been taken to hospital. I would have to put off sleep and I headed to the hospital.
Thankfully the lady was ok, but she had lost a lot of blood. We got back to the hotel around midnight. It does worry me having clients that age on a tour like this, especially when they are travelling alone. Tomorrow we have a morning tour of Malacca and then a free afternoon and evening.